Livedoor Co. stock on Wednesday sank below 100 yen for the first time, compared with nearly 700 yen just before the Internet services firm was raided Jan. 16 over an alleged accounting fraud.
Livedoor closed at 94 yen on Wednesday, down 13 yen from Tuesday’s close, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Mothers market for startups, after briefly dropping to 93 yen.
Wednesday’s closing price compares with 696 yen on Jan. 16. Prosecutors raided the company that day after the market closed. Livedoor’s market value came to 98.6 billion yen Wednesday, down from 730 billion yen on Jan. 16.
The prosecutors’ raid triggered a massive selloff on the TSE, overwhelming its computer system and forcing the bourse to halt stock trading 20 minutes early on Jan. 18.
In a rare move, the TSE restricted trading hours in Livedoor shares to between 1:30 and 3 p.m. on Jan. 25, and between 2 and 3 p.m. starting on Jan. 26.
Livedoor, in an effort to make its shares affordable to individual investors, has split its stock by a factor of 30,000 in four splits since 2001.
Its shares can also be traded in single-share units, rather than the 1,000-share blocks of many listed companies.
Livedoor founder and ex-President Takafumi Horie and three other group executives were arrested Jan. 23 on suspicion of disseminating false information to deceive investors.
Following the arrests, the TSE put Livedoor and listed affiliate Livedoor Marketing Co. in its monitoring post, a step taken when the bourse believes a firm may have to be delisted.
Image spin control
Livedoor Co. will review its public relations division to increase the transparency of management and improve its corporate image after senior management officials were arrested for alleged securities law violations, company sources said Wednesday.
Former Livedoor President Takafumi Horie alone used to play a major role in dealing with the media.
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